Grand Rapids rallies around ArtPrize finalists in Westside venues

One of the most striking pieces is a mural of elephants along Seward Avenue NW called “Charging Forward”.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – On a clear, sunny Thursday afternoon, Drew Craven walks along the railroad tracks separating Seward Avenue from Brad Goff’s mural entitled “Charging Forward.” He looks up to admire the 23 ‘by 140’ masterpiece.

“Are you brad?” asked Craven.

He was sad to learn that Goff had only just left, about five minutes earlier.

“I wanted to thank him,” said Craven, who lives in the neighborhood where the mural was completed just before ArtPrize began.

“It is just a privilege to live right next to something so beautiful now and to come home with pleasure every day to see it. You really shed some light on the community and I want to say thank you Brad. “

For Craven, the mural is a symbol of the Westside revitalization. But it’s actually a much bigger picture than that. Goff designed the mural as a symbol of hope and strength that all can overcome.

“With everything we’ve been through with COVID and everything else in the past year and a half, the mural really just represents the human ability to storm forward and overcome,” Goff said.

The mural is the first that Goff has ever taken on. It took him four and a half weeks to paint. He says he spent about 300 hours working on it during that time. Goff, himself a Grand Rapidian, is glad his work has not gone unnoticed by the Westside community.

The support that the Westside has had is just overwhelming. And it was really worth it. I’m just super happy to bring that to the Westside. “

But on the last day Goff got more good news. ArtPrize announced the list of the 25 pieces with the most visitor engagement on Wednesday. These artworks are available for a grand prize of $ 50,000. Goff’s mother announced that “Charging Forward” was on that list.

“When I first said I wanted to win the Art Prize, I wanted to be there, to shoot for the stars or to win it. I think that confirmed the fact that I achieved my goal of just getting noticed for the mural and what I did. It was a very good feeling, “said Goff.

“Charging Forward” can be found at Oliver Healthcare Packaging, corner 6th and Seward.

There are a few more finalists among the top 25 on the Westside. You can find the entire list on the ArtPrize website.

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